Monday, June 01, 2009


Most televised sporting events, and maybe other shows, have several persons, who describe to the viewing audience the event of the day. One such person's title is "Color Commentator".

Since I am avid Dallas football fan, as a number of Texas women are, I love the person designated to add color to the game. "Color" may be explanation of facets of the event, or personal factors, either complimentary or not, about participants.

From my bio, you know I am a former Texan (30+ years); therefore I have a Texan's ability to spin a yarn with colorful detail, learned from years of listening to fellow Texans and applying what I heard. Lacking crucial details do not deter Texans' storytelling; they become "color" commentators in spinning of yarns. Watch out! Here is my take on some "colorful events" in Texas and Arkansas.

Texans have some unusual activities they call fun, along with common festivals, parades and celebrations. Two or three events are downright nasty: spring rattlesnake hunts and resulting cookoff of snake steaks and cowpie (other animal "pies") discus throw or cowpie bingo. I never participated in these events. I can absorb pie throwing, watermelon seed spitting and other uncouth behavior but deliver me from things that hiss and rattle, or smell.

However, Texas is a huge state and there are many beautiful, fun events, everywhere, small communities and large cities. The culture of San Antonio lends itself to several beautiful events. As a high school band member, I marched in the heralded, largest night parade, the Fiesta Flambeau. Fiesta Fandango Run is held prior to the parade. Fort Worth has festive events centered around the historic stockyard district.

However, Arkansas has events which may evoke a smile, too.

There is a BeanFest and Championship Outhouse Race in Mountain View near Arkansas Patti; does the word "gas" connect the two events?! On the subject of gas, a community near me is named Gassville and their Gassville Day in the Park is in June.

Near Conway there is a community called Toad Suck. What do they do on Toad Suck Daze? I'll let you fill in the blanks.[I'm trying hard to keep this decent.]

I've lived in the same Arkansas town for nearly 30 years, so it makes me almost native. I relish my self-appointed unofficial job of initiating unsuspecting newcomers about my adopted home state.

The aforementioned Toad Suck Daze and the Beanfest and OutHouse Races are favorites. That sets 'em back on their haunches.

The annual Turkey Trot and Wild Turkey Calling Festival in Yellville, AR features a beauty contest called Miss Drumsticks, a National Wild Turkey Calling Contest, arts and crafts, bands and a parade. It serves as a homecoming event for many natives who moved elsewhere.

The Turkey Trot highlight is the impromptu flyover wild turkey drop by a mystery pilot. The number of drops for the 3-day event is determined only by the pilot. I know the pilot who catches and releases the wild turkeys from his personal aircraft during Turkey Trot.

SPCA and the Humane Society cannot catch him to cite him for cruelty; he disguises his plane's identity. It became a game between him and animal rights groups after a unfortunate bird hit the top southwest corner of the courthouse with a horrendous splat, feathers flying everywhere... That spectacle deflated the crowd for a few minutes.

The animal rights groups claim wild turkeys can't fly. I personally have see the birds spread their wings and soar, likr eagles, once released--so much for that erroneous idea. Domesticated turkeys may not fly; they are too fat.

Then there was the Great Duck Race for a few years in Bull Shoals. Tickets were sold for plastic yellow baby ducks with numbers painted on them. The ducks were dumped off the Bull Shoals Dam into the White River. At some point the first ducky to cross a line was the winner. Of course, I told one unsuspecting new Texan in the area they were real ducks we dump over the Dam. :)

Remember The Bible Hour Fish Ponds Fiasco post in which I described my Mother's "color" comments to the stories? Many a Sunday School teacher and Ladies' Retreat lecturers use this method. For example, one speaker, using Sarah, Abraham's wife, as focus, explained Sarah, an inhabitant of a chique, bustling city must have been frustrated and isolated by Abraham's nomadic wanderings and ordered by an invisible Spirit.

Color commentary enriches our reading and viewing experience.


Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is such a fun post!!!! I love all the anecdotes about local "color" in each of your states...both Texas and Arkansas! Terrific stories! A wonderful read! I thoroughly enjoyed this! ~Janine XO

Lorna said...

That's a bit of a colour commentary in itself.

Arkansas Patti said...

Love the post and you can hire on as "color" commenter anytime.
Thank you so much for your support regarding Mighty.Today is surgery.

Amber Star said...

Interesting stories that I enjoyed a lot. The wild turkey drop sort of surprised me. They can fly short distances according to this website

I just saw on tv a bit about a local rodeo. they had a brahama bull.

Thanks for leaving me the opportunity to tell some Texas tall tales. :)

NitWit1 said...

Amber Star: fire away on the tall tales. I miss that aspect of living in Texas, where every story seemed somewhat embellished (colored). "Plain spoken" was not common. heh heh.

We are back from LR with a relatively good report for husband. He's discharged from VA in LR following his spot on lung which has decreased in size over a 2 year period. I encouraged him to not forget about it but have his local VA clinic stay aware of it

Sweetie Pie said...

What a great post! I love the color commentary!! Ah yes, Toad Suck Daze. I've never attended, but I've seen plenty of the t-shirts!

I was friends with a pageant queen in college who used to participate in turkey calling contests. I heard her do her think once or twice, and it sounded hard! I don't think that's a skill I could ever possess. Luckily, I don't really need to call turkeys in DC. :-)

Liz said...

A colour commentator sounds a great idea. You've certainly got the skill for it!